Quick Tip: Use Fill-Down to Save Time

Written on . By CPM Solutions

We’ve all been there before. Adding the same code, resource, calendar or value to activities in a row or throughout the project. It’s dull, constant, and time consuming. Hours are wasted assigning data to activities that could be done in minutes. In this quick tutorial, you’ll learn how to use the Fill-Down feature that will save you time especially when deadlines are creeping up faster than anticipated.

The Fill-Down feature is a handy tool that lets you copy text, numbers, and values en masse to activities below. To do this, select a specific column in a row on the Activity Table and assign the same value in that column to the successive rows. There is one major rule you need to be aware of: you can only fill DOWN, not up. If you try to copy the values to activities in the rows above, the values listed above with overwrite what you had in the original column. Another thing to note is that rows below do not need to be grouped together or adjacent to be filled. I’ll show you what I mean in the examples below.

To understand how the Fill-Down feature works, let’s go through some examples:

Example 1: Fill-Down Text

In this example, we’ll fill down the activity name. The activity name is filled in text that you have entered yourself.

Step 1: Add a few new activities. This project is just an example so I’ve add four blank activities. Next, edit the first row’s activity name.

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Step 2: Hold the Shift key on your keyboard while selecting the rows below using the left-click button on your mouse. Notice that when you use the Shift key, you can select multiple rows at once. These are the rows that will be populated by the new activity name.

Important Note: You MUST click the column in the row that you would be to be copied otherwise the fill-down feature will not work properly.

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Step 3: There are three options to use the Fill-Down feature at this point:

  1. Click the Edit menu > select Fill-Down.
  2. Click the right-click button on your mouse > select Fill-Down.
  3. Use hotkey, hold Ctrl and E at the same time.

In this example, we’ll use the first option. Click on the Edit menu, and select Fill-Down.

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The result: The activity names have been copied.

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Example 2: Fill-Down Numerical Values

In this example, we will fill down numerical values in the form of Original Duration. This can also be applied to costs or other numbers manually entered into P6.

Step 1: Click on the column/row and edit the numerical value. I’ve changed the Original Duration to 10.

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Step 2: We’re also going to fill-down rows that are out of sequences (ie., they are not in adjacent to one another). To do this, hold the Ctrl button down on your keyboard and select the activities to be filled using the left-click button on your mouse.

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Step 3: This time we’re going to use the right-click button on the mouse. Click Fill-Down.

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Remember that you need to select the correct column in the row you want to fill when using the feature.

Result: The durations are now the same and have been copied out of sequence.

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Example 3: Fill-Down Codes

In this last example, we’ll show you how to copy codes to multiple activities. This can be done to resources, calendars, or anything that has been pre-set by an administrator.

Step 1: Click on the column and add the code.

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Step 2: Using the Shift and Ctrl key on the keyboard, select the rows that you would like to copy the select value.

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Step 3: Use the Fill-Down feature. This time, we’re going to use the hotkeys by holding Ctrl and E at the same time. This should automatically fill-down the columns.

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Although these were very simple examples, I hope you can see that the fill-down feature can be very useful on a large-scale. You can use this to assign codes, resources, values, and more to activities in your project. This will save you valuable time when setting up your initial project plan.